In this annual series, current and former volunteers reflect on the Lenten Gospels and the Four Pillars of Faith-Based Service: Social Justice, Simplicity, Community and Spirituality. Presented by Catholic Apostolate Center and Catholic Volunteer Network.
Easter Sunday Reflection By Deirdre Kleist, Amate House
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” (John 20:1-9)
In the words of Saint Augustine, “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” Not just today, or just this season, but each and every day, we are called to be an “Easter people” – a people enlivened by the joy of the truth of the Resurrection. And yet, the reality of the Christian life is that it can often be marked by loneliness, sorrow, and uncertainty. Reading today’s Gospel is a great reminder that in those first moments after discovering the empty tomb, the disciples were steeped in grief after the death of their friend and leader, bewildered by His mysterious disappearance. And yet, the Gospel writer tells us that even though they “did not yet understand,” they “saw and believed.”
In my life as a volunteer with Amate House, there were many times that it was a challenge to be a good Christian witness living the joy of the Resurrection. Daily in my own work I encountered people who were on the brink of eviction, or who were facing time in prison, or who were separated from their children and losing hope in ever reuniting. My housemates too would bring home stories of students going hungry and communities torn apart by gun violence. And yet there we were, together in community, left to attest to the truth that even in the darkness, the light of Christ cannot be extinguished; even in sorrow beyond understanding, there is hope for new life. Without fully understanding the mystery, we place our hope in the God who loves us, who transforms us, and who overcomes.
As the disciples found your empty tomb,
Without fully understanding,
Grant me this same deep-rooted hopefulness,
This faith beyond explanation,
This trust in your love and your promise.
Fill me with the joy of your Resurrection,
Your invitation to new life,
Such that I must run to share the Good News.
I pray this in Your Holy Name,
Focus on Simple Living
One of the greatest gifts of living simply is the way it naturally leads to building community. By living simply, we have the chance to share more deeply with one another, and to expand our community. Simple living gives us the chance to stand with one another in candid, authentic vulnerability like the disciples in today’s Gospel – waiting together in hope.
This Easter season, find new ways to be a beacon of hope for others you encounter. Whether it’s buying a cup of coffee for a stranger, packing a kit of essentials for a person experiencing homelessness, or writing a letter to someone who might feel lonely or disconnected. Share the good news of Christ and the hope of the Resurrection by practicing some personal sacrifice, spreading joy, inspiring hope, and by upholding the dignity of others by bridging connections with the community of all humanity.
Deirdre volunteered through Amate House in 2012-13, serving at Cabrini Green Legal Aid. Her passion for service has brought her to eight states in the U.S. and 2 countries abroad over the last 12 years. She is a proud graduate of Stonehill College and the University of Notre Dame, and she loves St. Andre Bessette, CSC so much she named her pet fish after him.
Looking for more reflections like this one? We invite you to download our Lenten Reflection Guide in its entirety, available by clicking here. You can also find an extensive library of Lenten resources by visiting the Catholic Apostolate Center website – click here.
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